Monday, December 26, 2011

Carl Jung Art


Carl Jung
from the Red Book

Darkness and Light

We spend a lot of time studying darkness and light in my drawing and watercolor courses.

In art lingo, light and shadow are referred to as value. Fundamentally, value is what determines how we see everything — objects, scenes, graphics, the computer screen you're reading this on, even color.

The beautiful Italian word, Chiaroscuro was first used in the Renaissance to describe the use of light and shadow in drawing and watercolor painting.

In my online courses, we also study the inner experience of darkness and light. Carl Jung identified the shadow aspect of the unconscious mind as our repressed (perceived) shortcomings and negativity. Jung said that the more we repress our shadows, the stronger they become. Jung turned to drawing and painting in times of emotional distress as a means of relief. Jung also hand-wrote and illustrated with his paintings his critically important Red Book. Learn more about Carl Jung's Red Book. Read a 2009 NYT article on the Red Book.


In my drawing and watercolor lessons, we have opportunities to recognize, accept and put aside our inner negativities in order to create with greater freedom. Through simple and more challenging exercises on paper, with support and encouragement, you can learn to transform your shadows into light.

This transformation is a by-product. First, you make an intention to try your hand at a new discipline. Then, you take action. The results are greater than the sum of the parts. My students never cease to amaze me with their growth and development.

I've written about Alan Watts before — his lectures have been a profound influence on my development since first listening to him in my early 20's.

Here's a tribute Watts gave after the passing of Jung.



Learn how you can transform your shadow. Join us for my 2012 Online Course in Drawing and Watercolor.

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